More people die from prescription drug overdose than from car accidents. That puts prescribers and pharmacists on the front lines of the nation’s fight to keep people safe from drug overdose and death. In Virginia, the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) centralizes the dispensing history of patients prescribed Schedule II – IV controlled substances, allowing a prescriber or pharmacist to quickly review a patient’s prescription history.
Use the links in the table of contents of this PMP education toolkit to learn more about the mission of Virginia’s PMP to promote the appropriate use of controlled substances for legitimate medical purposes while deterring the misuse, abuse and diversion of controlled substances.
Find fast PMP facts on topics including—
- New developments such as work flow integration and delegation making it easier to use PMP
- Interoperability with other state Prescription Monitoring Programs
- Legislative updates
PMP’s regularly updated education toolkit also includes statistical data including charts and graphs, changes in regulation for registered users of the system, feature articles for patients and quotes for news organizations that are just a click away.
Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP): Making it Easier for Pharmacists and Prescribers to Keep Patients Safe
PMP Enters Its Second Decade of Service
At a time when drug deaths outnumber motor vehicle fatalities, Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) leads the way in the nationwide fight against the prescription drug abuse epidemic. PMP is a secure, digital risk management database for prescribers and pharmacists and works by providing information and patient histories of citizens receiving controlled substances or Schedule II through IV drugs as part of medical treatment. PMP also minimizes the risk of duplicating prescriptions and eliminates potential illegal activity. The database is accessible 24/7, and is only available to authorized users.
As of January 2016, PMP registration is automatic for select licensees of Virginia’s health regulatory boards, and practitioners are required to consult the database before writing an opioid prescription for longer than 14 consecutive days.
Recognizing the time constraints on healthcare providers, new 2016 policy allows practitioners to appoint delegates or alternates in their practice to query the PMP database on behalf of a supervising prescriber or pharmacist. PMP alternates are eligible to have their own accounts in the system.
Along with (number) states, PMP is a member of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Prescription Monitoring Interconnect (PMPi). These states work together in partnership to share prescription information across state lines to aid in the fight against the nationwide epidemic against prescription and heroin abuse. A nationally connected resource for prescribers and pharmacists is also on the horizon. The future is expected to bring new pharmacy software to better integrate use of PMP data into the everyday workflow of healthcare practitioners.
PMP is a program of the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP) which licenses 320,000 healthcare practitioners across more than 80, professions including those who prescribe or dispense controlled substances.
DHP’s mission is to ensure safe and competent patient care by licensing health professionals, enforcing standards of practice and providing information to health care practitioners and the public.
“I use the PMP frequently in my family medicine practice to verify the controlled medication prescriptions that my patients may have received in other settings. The PMP has led me to have upfront and honest conversations with patients and family members that have then led to improved treatment plans that we are able to develop together in a patient-centered manner.”
-Sebastian Tong, MD, MPH
"I consider using the PMP to be a key part of providing safe and effective care for patients with chronic pain and other illnesses for which I have prescribed controlled substances. It allows me to ensure patients are not receiving prescriptions from other providers outside our office, and that medications are being refilled appropriately. I check the PMP each time I see a patient for chronic pain care, and for refills of controlled substances overall."
-Mark Ryan, MD, Medical Director, Hayes E. Willis Health Center
The opioids displayed here were the top 6 opioids prescribed in Virginia during the first half of each year. The significant decrease in hydrocodone prescriptions from 2014 - 2015 is a result of rescheduling these products from schedule III to schedule II. In 2014, tramadol was moved from schedule VI to Schedule IV. Prior to that, tramadol products were not required to be reported to the PMP. (Chart provided by the Health and Criminal Justice Data Committee)
Virginia’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) will implement new functionality simplifying a potential Prescriber Delegate’s registration process on September 7, 2016. Previously, these Prescriber Delegates (delegates) could only gain access to the PMP using a paper registration process. Much like existing processes available for prescribers, each potential Prescriber Delegate will be able to register at the PMP login screen by clicking on the “Register” button and then selecting the “Prescriber Delegate Job” (Licensed or Unlicensed) that applies and following the prompts. Please note that this enhancement will not affect existing delegate accounts.
Once the delegate has submitted the online application, the delegate’s Prescriber Supervisor (supervisor) will be notified via email that an application has been submitted. The supervisor then has the opportunity to review and approve the pending delegate user’s application. If the potential delegate receives the following notice: “Add Failed: Supervisor not found for the given License information”, the delegate will need to inform the Supervisor that it is necessary for the supervisor to enter their DEA number on the “My Account” screen before the potential delegate can complete the registration. Once the supervisor has approved the application, the new delegate user will receive an email indicating that the registration has been approved by the supervisor, and also providing information on how to access the account.
Each time a supervisor logs into the account, they will have the ability to see all the patient profiles requested on their behalf by all of his delegates. Supervisors will have the ability to better manage and supervise their delegates, featuring easy removal of delegates that are no longer employed at their facility, no longer under their supervision, or whose job requirements have changed. Each supervisor may have as many delegates as they choose, though each delegate user may only use their own username and password since access to the PMP may not be shared for security reasons and in accordance with regulation.
Any prescriber or dispenser authorized to access the information in the possession of the Prescription Monitoring Program pursuant to this chapter may, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Director to implement the provisions of this section, delegate such authority to individuals who are employed or engaged at the same facility and under the direct supervision of the prescriber or dispenser and (i) are licensed, registered, or certified by a health regulatory board under the Department of Health Professions or in another jurisdiction or (ii) have routine access to confidential patient data and have signed a patient data confidentiality agreement.
Use of PMP supports the CDC's guidelines on prescribing opioids for chronic pain management
Health recently transitioned to NarxCare, a comprehensive platform for managing controlled substance data. NarxCare provides practitioners with PMP data that is integrated within their existing workflow, whether as an electronic medical record system (EMR) or pharmacy software application. Learn more about NarxCare.
Pharma In January, 2017 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced a new $3.1M grant to help integrate PMP data into practitioner work flows. The grant, from PurduePharma, will allow Virginia’s PMP to connect with electronic health records used by Virginia doctors and pharmacies. Read the Governor’s news release.
- Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) Guidelines
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain